Anna Maria Locke

grad school


[the only masters students in our cohort to make it out by Spring]
 [the mountain I live on. and our backwards hoods...]
[would not have made it without this guy]

I am officially a Master of Science in Geography!
Grad school was hard, fun, stressful, fast, and intense, and I have seen myself grow up over the past 2 years.
I started this little blog to keep in touch with my family as I moved across the country to enter the Geography program at Penn State, and I will keep on chronicling the unknown life adventures to come (chronicle= one of those words that looks weird if you stare at it for a while). Part of me can't believe I am officially "done" with this step but a bigger part feels relieved and proud of myself! This has been a spring of major exciting changes, and I can't wait to find out what happens next! (aka, job....???)

p.s. Academic Regalia is ridiculous.

p.p.s. Thank you for all the sweet words on our engagement! Unfortunately the Great Blogger Crash deleted some of your comments but I have them saved in my email :)

Seattle spring

 Flowers at Pike Place Market
 The Seattle aquarium in Puget Sound

 Colors at the Olympic Sculpture Park
 The Experience Music Project museum

 Views from a run to the top of the city
A secret garden in the hillside neighborhoods

I spent last week in Seattle as part of a national geography conference. The city was everything I imagined: amazing food, even more amazing coffee, cloudy skies, Pacific mist, and an amazingly casual urban vibe. Love the city, don't love the climate. I'll say I liked the weather though; it's very refreshing and much better than the dense overcast/pouring rain/ice/snowstorms of central Pennsylvania. It was a fun week and a great chance to catch up with friends and undergrad professors after the thesis maelstrom of the past couple months, and I can't wait to go back someday to explore a little more and make trips over to the rainforest and mountains. 

Now that I'm back at school, but with the purpose of my life (thesis) complete, I am at a strange limbo-esque stage and trying to juggle the new more relaxed schedule of my life back into a semblance of balance. I am not as excited and proud of myself for finishing my thesis as I probably should be. The stress and worry of finding a job is kind of overwhelming for now. 

However, (despite random lingering 40* days) spring is here, my birthday is next week, I am a diploma away from being a Master, and the future will work itself out.

almost done

I'm back, and as promised it is (sort of) spring, stress levels are slowly receding to normal, and my thesis is in the home stretch. It has been basically approved by my adviser and committee, and everything will be submitted by Monday. Yesssss!
To say that I am excited to be done with grad school is a big understatement. I am pretty burned out with school. Going straight from undergrad to grad school is maybe not the greatest idea ever, although it has worked out. Writing this thesis has been the most challenging accomplishment of my life so far, but I am happy with how everything turned out, and I'm glad to be done before the weather gets too nice out!
Speaking of which, is anyone else suffering from this extended winter? Like, seriously. Enough with the snow!!
Anyway, I am looking forward to getting my life back on track, since this thesis has become my identity and sole purpose of existence while everything else has been left behind in the meantime.
On Tuesday I'm headed to Seattle for a week to present my research at a national conference. 
Any tips on what to do in Seattle in early April?
The weather there looks just as gloomy as the weather in central PA. (Did you know that Central PA is the only mini-region in the eastern states with the same climate type as the Pacific NW? Except the NW is mostly spared the horrendous ice and snowstorms, and they get bigger mountains, lucky them.)

More pretty pictures, recipes, and happy posts to come!